27 Best Songs About Massachusetts

Between its breathtaking coastal landscapes and vibrant cities, the state of Massachusetts has inspired many musicians. While the Bay State is home to some of them, others sing about discovering the city of Boston or the cold New England winters.

Whichever camp you fall into, here are the best songs about Massachusetts ever.

“Massachusetts” by the Bee Gees

Song Year: 1968

This ode to Massachusetts topped the charts in 12 countries, including the UK. The Bee Gees had never visited Massachusetts when they wrote this hit.

The song is an answer to popular flower-power songs of the ‘60s like Scott McKenzie’s “San Francisco.” These songs often associate the ‘60s hippie movement with the West Coast, and the Bee Gees wanted to write a song from the perspective of a youth who goes West and ends up missing home.

“Boston” by Kenny Chesney

Song Year: 2004

“Boston” is a country song by Kenny Chesney. The song tells the story of a woman who left Boston to go live on a tropical island.

The lyrics create a contrast between the cold New England climate and the warm and sunny place this character has found. Despite leaving everything behind, this woman still clings to her past and talks about her hometown.

“I’m Shipping Up to Boston” by the Dropkick Murphys

Song Year: 2005

The Dropkick Murphys are arguably the most famous band from Massachusetts. This unique punk band comes from Quincy, MA.

With “I’m Shipping Up to Boston,” the band celebrates the city’s Irish heritage and references Boston’s history as a port.

The lyrics about a sailor looking for his lost peg leg are fun and nonsensical, but the mix of traditional Irish music and modern punk rock feels representative of the Boston music scene.

“Boston” by Augustana

Song Year: 2005

“Boston” is a beautiful slow piano song from the rock band Augustana. There is a deeply personal story behind the lyrics since frontman Daniel Layus came up with the title after a close friend moved from California to Boston.

To Layus, Boston felt like the furthest place possible and sounded like the perfect city to start over. The idea of starting over also evokes the rich history of Boston as a destination for immigrants.

“The Boston Rag” by Steely Dan

Song Year: 1973

“The Boston Rag” is a unique song from Steely Dan with a jazzy feel and a memorable guitar solo. The song uses the same structure as a classic ragtime track, a popular genre used in jazz music.

The lyrics tell a story about living in Boston and dealing with difficult situations. The song seems to tell the story of a friend who overdosed, but the song feels cryptic and remains open to interpretation.

“Roadrunner” by the Modern Lovers

Song Year: 1972

This fun rock song talks about being in love with Massachusetts. It creates precise images by describing neon lights in the winter or driving on the highway with the radio on.

Composer Jonathan Richman revealed the song is about Route 128, which runs along the coast.

“Boston” by the Byrds

Song Year: 1969

“Boston” wasn’t a hit for the Byrds, but the song feels representative of the band’s style. The upbeat bubblegum pop melody evokes the Beatles and other bands from the British invasion.

The lyrics are about the innocent kind of love that was popular in pop music throughout the ‘50s and ‘60s. The singer has a girlfriend in Boston, MA, and sings about his plans to see her.

“Massachusetts” by Aaron Lewis

Song Year: 2011

“Massachusetts” is a beautiful country song that will make you miss home. In this nostalgic tune, Aaron Lewis sings about being away from his family in Massachusetts.

The lyrics talk about his wife and children, but he also evokes growing up in Massachusetts and refers to his friends and favorite teachers.

It’s a heartfelt song that feels like a sincere love letter to the Bay State.

“Whoever’s in New England” by Reba McEntire

Song Year: 1986

“Whoever’s in New England” is one of the most recognizable songs about Massachusetts. This hit also resulted in a Grammy Award for Best Female Country Vocal Performance for Reba McEntire.

This emotional song is about a man who goes to Boston regularly on business. The singer suspects he is cheating on her with someone in New England.

The song has a positive message since the singer hopes this man will eventually return to her.

“Old Cape Cod” by Patti Page

Song Year: 1960

“Old Cape Cod” is a unique song that mimics the emotional and orchestral feel of a classic love song, but Patti Page is singing about falling in love with the Cape Cod peninsula.

It’s one of the most iconic songs about Massachusetts, referencing everything that makes the Bay State a popular tourist destination, including the small towns, beaches, and seafood. Patti Page had never visited the area before recording the song and seeing Cape Cod in person made her realize how meaningful the song truly was.

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